Jeb Bush is Certifiable

Jeb Bush was in Iowa last week sticking his toe in the water to see if he really could win the general by losing the primary.  I have to give him credit; he’s willing to stick to unpopular positions, even if they are politically toxic.  He reiterated his support for Common Core, which is unpopular with some conservative activists, and opposed renewal fuel standards, which although they are not popular with Republicans in general, are popular in Iowa. So he’s not afraid to run against the grain. But I just can’t, in this or any other parallel universe, imagine Jeb Bush winning the Republican nomination.     Jeb Bush

David Frum wrote a piece in The Atlantic last month describing Bush as a Republican version of Obama in that they have created artificial identities to hide behind.  In Bush’s case, he is from a northeastern WASP family via Texas and now regards himself as an adopted Hispanic, speaking Spanish in the home, converting to Roman Catholicism, and moving to the Capital of Latin America, Miami.   He may be the Republican Obama, but that’s not really his problem.

I don’t think Jeb will be the nominee because:

Last name Bush. Dynasties don’t wear as well with Republicans as they do with Democrats. If Carolyn Kennedy threw her pill box shaped hat in the race, she would have a decent shot because…last name Kennedy. And this is even though she’s an incompetent who blew her chance to be appointed senator by being unable to talk in interviews. Hillary is the Democratic “front runner” now only because of dynasty.

His family is messed up.  His wife isn’t comfortable in English (probably because of the practice of speaking Spanish at home), She also has a shopping problem. All of his kids have been arrested at least once and his daughter was a drug addict.  Not exactly a picture perfect first family.

But the real clincher is that the only national issue Jeb is associated with is amnesty, which is unpopular with the base.  Now of course whoever does end up with the nomination will probably be pro amnesty too since any anti-amnesty candidate won’t be able to get the funds to run. Republican donors are as pro amnesty as Chuck Schumer. But the other candidates will be associated with other issues. Jeb won’t. And on that issue he looks vacillating and contradictory. As I have written about previously, he came out with a book in 2013 about amnesty in which he proposed not offering a path to citizenship. Since he had always supported amnesty with citizenship before, on day 1 of his book tour he was asked why he changed his mind, and he stammered and it turned out he hadn’t changed his mind at all. So the first day of his book tour he disavowed the central premise of the book he was trying to sell. That will come up over and over in 2016.

Of course, what Jeb was hoping for was that by the time 2016 rolled around, amnesty would have been a done deal, and he could have pointed to the book to say, “See? I was opposed to citizenship!” That would place him to the right of the actual policy. I think the odds look poor for that now.

As a governor he wasn’t bad and was pretty tight with the State dollar, however he didn’t have any input in Federal areas like immigration. Frum’s article does make a good case for the similarities between Jeb and Obama, but I think the real take away is that when it comes to immigration, Jeb is certifiable. He seems to have no other passions other than illegal immigrants. And it’s not even a logical obsession.  It’s actually more about preferring Latin Culture and people to the more Anglo variety that Jeb hails from.  How else to explain the illogic of wanting to grant people who illegally cross the border amnesty (who are mostly Hispanic), but deport people who actually entered the country legally, but overstayed their visas (and who are primarily not Hispanic)?   Never has an American politician been so blatant about replacing me and my family with someone else that he likes better. Bush is obviously carrying around some mental issues about his fellow Americans.

The Democrats are far more circumspect than this.

I hate to be one of those, “I’ll never vote for…” types who swear they’ll never vote if McCain/Romney/fill in the blank wins the nomination, but I think Jeb would actually be worse than any conceivable Democrat.  Except maybe Congressman Luis Gutiérrez, and even then, I’m not sure Gutiérrez is as obsessed with illegals as Jeb is.

 

 

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Dear Senator Rubio

This afternoon the Senate passed its version of Immigration Reform, 68-32.  14 Republicans voted for the bill, including my Senator, Marco Rubio, severely damaging his chances for the Republican nomination in 2016.

English: Former Speaker of the Florida House a...

English: Former Speaker of the Florida House at CPAC in . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As frequent readers to this blog know, I strongly oppose the current Senate Immigration Bill and the concept of blanket amnesty in general.  I’ve contacted my Congressman on this and am satisfied that we are of like minds on the issue.  However my Senators are another story.  Bill Nelson is Harry Reid’s lapdog so he does whatever he’s told.  Marco Rubio on the other hand, is one of the architects of this immigration proposal.  If there has been a bigger Tea Party disappointment in both the House and Senate, I can’t think who it would be.

I tried calling the Senator’s office this week and got a voicemail to leave my comments after the beep.  Unsurprisingly, the box was full.  Apparently I’m not alone.  So I wrote this letter and emailed it to the Senator.

Dear Senator Rubio,

As your constituent, I have to say that you’ve profoundly disappointed me.  But what really bothers me is that you’ve managed to fool me.   I remember your debate with Charlie Crist in which you took the risky position (in Florida) that Social Security may have to be trimmed in order to save the program.  You took a difficult and courageous political position while Crist looked like a weasel in comparison.  “That’s a guy I can get behind.”  I thought to myself.

And I did.  I voted for you and was proud to do it.  I had heard you speak enough times that I felt sure of your Tea Party bonafides.  You sir, were the real deal.

Or at least that’s what I thought.  I knew you had a special interest in immigration, but you had spoken out against amnesty enough in the campaign that I didn’t think that you were secretly harboring that as a legislative goal.  I was sympathetic to your Dream Act proposal.  Those kids didn’t commit crimes.  They were brought into this country when they were too young to have any moral responsibility for what their parents did.  Some sort of accommodation should be made for them.

After the border was secure of course.

But instead you rolled me.  Me, and many others who had voted for you.  After the experience of Obamacare, I wouldn’t have thought a Republican, let alone a Tea Party “darling” would support any bill that is billed as “comprehensive.”  The purpose of comprehensive bills is to smuggle in what you really want by covering it with tons of other things.  That’s certainly what your comprehensive immigration bill does.  Every day I’m reading of new revelations of Easter eggs buried in your bill.  You know them of course, since you helped put them there.

I’m not opposed to cooperating with Democrats; that’s politics after all.  I’m upset that you are not representing a Republican or conservative position in immigration reform.  This wasn’t a compromise; this is a Democratic / liberal bill.  You’ve merely provided cover for a liberal bill.  I can’t tell where you begin and Chuck Schumer ends.  Do you have any differences on this issue?

Frankly, I can’t see that I’ve gotten anything different from you than if Charlie Crist had won the senatorial nomination.  Oh one thing; Crist was honest about his support for amnesty.  He didn’t lie about it like you did.  You may argue that technically you weren’t lying, “go back and check the transcript!”  But if you were parsing your words from the beginning, then what other conclusion can I draw but that you intended to deceive?

Virtually everything you’ve promised has already been promised in the Simpson-Mazzoli bill.  Since we didn’t get any of the border security promises then, why should I think we would get them now?

I can see both the political and policy benefits for the Democrats.  It will over the long run provide millions of Democratic voters, effectively neutering the Republicans as a national party.  Policy-wise it creates an ever expanding underclass that will need the entitlement services that the Democrats will be peddling.  The Democrats have been at their strongest when, as FDR said, “one-third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clad, and ill-fed.”

That’s what you are importing.

Your position doesn’t even make sense on its own merits.  It goes without saying its bad politics.  It’s a slow motion suicide of the Republican Party as a national contender, but I could forgive that if it was good policy.  But it’s not.  It’s bad policy too.  It lowers the wage rates of the native working poor, it increases income inequality, it increases by millions the numbers of American poor, it inflicts long term financial stress on our entitlement programs, and creates a massive new underclass.

Your bill is unfair.  It grants sweeping immunity for crimes that would throw a citizen in jail.  And no, I’m not talking about merely crossing the border illegally or overstaying a visa.  Using,  false identification and Social Security numbers aren’t minor misdemeanors, they are felonies.  How can that possibly be justified?

Since you seem committed to this dangerous course of action, you’ve left me and many others no choice but to support your primary opponent for your re-election, whoever that may be.  And there will be a primary opponent.  Don’t think that your former supporters will shrug and figure better you than a Republican who can’t will the general election or a Democrat.  If your bill becomes law, in the long run there won’t be a real future for Republicans anyway.  So if you are going to burn down the house, I want to at least make sure you don’t get re-elected to collect the insurance money.

Of all the political issues I’ve researched, I’ve never understood how someone on the right could support blanket amnesty.  If there is an intelligent argument to be made on its behalf, I’m still waiting to hear it.  Instead, I hear insults to my intelligence like the kind your fellow gang member, Senator Graham offers.

You really had a promising political future and I’m flummoxed at why you decided to throw it away in order to help Democratic political ambitions.

Sincerely,

A Republican Primary Voter

If I get anything more than an automated response to this, I’ll be sure and post it, but won’t expect any sort of response.  Rubio, even if ever read this, which is unlikely, won’t have an answer for it.

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Why Is Rubio in the Gang of 8?

Contrary to popular opinion, both in the national press and in the Republican Party, the conservative movement is split on the amnesty issue.  Just cast your mind all the way back to…last year.  During the Republican Primary battles, all of the conservative candidates were in favor of some version of amnesty.  The single hold out?  Mitt Romney, the “moderate.”

English: Former Speaker of the Florida House a...

English: Former Speaker of the Florida House at CPAC in . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So it’s a confusing battle space that has anti tax activist Grover Norquist on the same side as liberal Senator Chuck Schumer, and moderate, establishment Republican columnist David Frum on the anti amnesty side while traditional conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer is pro amnesty.  On the talk radio side the views are more what you would expect, Rush Limbaugh  and Mark Levin are reliably anti-amnesty, however Sean Hannity switched sides after the election and now supports amnesty (although he is still cagey about it).  Otherwise, things are more what you would expect from a conservative split on immigration.  The neo-cons are pro amnesty (think William Kristol) and the paleo-cons are anti (think Pat Buchanan).

So where does that leave Tea Party darling Marco Rubio?  Square in the middle.

Rubio is a real conservative.  I’ve listened to enough politicians talk to know when they are the real deal and when they are just using the conservative movement to advance their own careers  *cough* Newt Gingrich* cough.

Rubio has long been a supporter of some variation of the Dream Act, which are a series of proposals to legalize illegal aliens brought over as children.  Given that as children they didn’t really have a choice about crossing the border illegally; it’s fairly easy to make the moral case to anti-amnesty conservatives for creating some mechanism for them to stay, after border security.  But it was a shock when he joined in with a group of liberal Senators and pro-amnesty Republicans, the Gang of 8, to craft a comprehensive immigration bill.

First, it was a shock that after the disaster of Obamacare, any Republican Senator would try to make common cause on a bill that intends to be “comprehensive.”  For conservatives, comprehensive is code word for cramming as much crap as possible into a massive bill and hope no one notices what’s in it.  The purpose of comprehensive bills is to slide revolting items through the process that would never pass on their own.  Of course, in the case of the immigration bill, the sole purpose is to get amnesty through.  Everything else in the bill is a sweetener to buy votes for amnesty, even though there are plenty of real, needed issues that need to be worked on.  Instead, nothing is more important than amnesty.  Steve Jobs found this out while trying to convince President Obama to loosen up on the H1-B Visa program.  From the Wall Street Journal:

According to Mr. Isaacson, Jobs “stressed the need for more trained engineers and suggested that any foreign students who earned an engineering degree in the U.S. should be given a visa to stay in the country.” The president reportedly replied that this would have to await broader immigration reform, which he said he was unable to accomplish.

“Jobs found this an annoying example of how politics can lead to paralysis,” Mr. Isaacson writes. “The president is very smart, but he kept explaining to us reasons why things can’t get done,” Jobs said. “It infuriates me.”

A simple bill to allow graduates of US schools to get a Visa would enjoy large bipartisan support and would pass easily.   So therefore we can’t allow it until we make sure we drag 11 million other people along with them!

So now Rubio is stuck riding this tiger all the way to completion.  Meanwhile, his reputation will be marred by every little crazy line item that is stuck in the bill, such as the one creating a biometric data base of all US adults.  So why would he join in with the Gang of 8?  How could this benefit him?

Just a couple of ideas and I don’t know if any of them are close to the mark:

+             He knows it won’t pass and just wants to build up some “moderate cred” for 2016.

+             He’s inexperienced and doesn’t realize  that Schumer and his gang are taking him for a ride.

+             He’s extremely experienced (a former Speaker of the House in the Florida legislature) and he’s playing the Gang of 8 by trying to “cooperate” up to the point that he can exploit the weaknesses of the bill and then blame the Senate Democrats and the Obama administration for sabotaging the bill with poison pills to keep the bill from passing and keep it as a political issue.

I’m sure there are probably many more possible reasons, but I don’t see any way for this to end well for Rubio’s political future other than at some point he disowns the bill.  If he doesn’t and ends up voting for whatever monstrosity slithers out of the Senate, than Rubio’s reputation will be damaged.  To conservatives, he will be a traitor, and to liberals he’ll be a gullible fool.

Which pill will he choose?  The red or the blue one?

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